The Random Bibliophile

by Renee Alexis

Renee Alexis
20-something Filipina, an introvert who loves young adult fiction, brush pens, Taylor Swift, and BTS. Coffee runs in my bloodstream.


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2023 Reading Challenge

2023 Reading Challenge
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i'm a swiftie

growing up with taylor swift

So, follow up with my previous post, I am going to talk about all things Taylor Swift again. Her 8th album called folklore was just released last Friday and I am in love with it. The vibe, the aesthetic, the feel, the lyrics, the instrumentation - the entirety of the album is just *chef's kiss*.

When I listened to the album, I was transported into a whole new universe. This is a very different album from all her previous works. Taylor has never stopped learning and going beyond boundaries. She's the type of person who always challenges the impossible. If somebody tells her she can't do it, she pushes herself to make it happen and even excels from it. As a decade-old fan of Taylor, I grew up along with her music. I became a fan when she started out in Country. I adored her Fearless tracks, her Dear John antics, her All Too Well dramatics. I reveled in Haunted and Treacherous, I fell in love with Invisible and Hey Stephen, I cried through The Other Side of the Door and Cold As You, happily rejoiced with Enchanted, Jump Then Fall and Superstar, and screamed through Should've Said No and The Way I Loved You.

As she started experimenting with her music in Red, I welcomed the changes. Her lead single We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together was a hint that there will be a touch of pop tunes in her tracks in the likes of State of Grace, Holy Ground, and the crowd favorite, I Knew You Were Trouble. I devoured the album. The best song of hers was born with it and we all know it too well.

As she transitioned to Pop with her next album, 1989, she became a massive hit despite the doubts people had. The cohesive album boasts of sonically coherent 80's synth-pop tracks like Style, I Wish You Would, Blank Space, Wildest Dreams, I Know Places, and my personal favorite, Out of the Woods. Taylor's music kept evolving and then after 3 years, she released reputation. A full-on pop vocal record with a darker and heavier tone that Taylor described as her most cathartic album.

i'm a swiftie

reputation was well-loved and it signified as her most powerful comeback from a year of silence. Just when everybody got used to wondering where Taylor was, she dropped snakes and hints in her wiped-out social accounts. The world was shookt when Taylor released the Look What You Made Me Do music video with its controversial underlying easter eggs and unbelievable visuals. Personally, I lost it. Her music wasn't made available on the free music streaming platform, Spotify, so I downloaded iTunes music despite having an Android and bought her album. I was blown away by her powerful vocals. I wasn't used to Angry Taylor but reputation opened my eyes at how multi-faceted my idol is. Her works represent how many sides she has and we still have a lot to learn from her. Through it all, the change in melodies and tunes - from fairytales to dark-emo-punk - there's one thing that never changed. And that is Taylor's songwriting talent. As her music genre evolved, her lyrical prowess kept improving. Getaway Car and Call it What You Want are evidence that she can still whip up her lyric-genius self, the same girl who penned Clean and Love Story.

Then she introduced us to Lover, her 7th album, a far cry from the previous reputation. Pastels and glitters replaced the snakes and combat boots from the previous era. She gave us wondrous tracks like Cornelia Street and Afterglow. Bops like London Boy and Death by a Thousand Cuts overruled Gorgeous and King of My Heart. Her powerful song The Man became an anthem and Daylight became the best closing song topping New Year's Day and Long Live. I truly had the time of my life following Taylor Swift and the masterpieces she shared with us.

And now, wiping her slates clean, Taylor has given us another work of art to pick apart and internalize. folklore is as different as an apple is to an orange, yet just as beautiful and precious as her other records. Taylor takes us to another dimension as she graces us with her calming vocals as she sings hoax, illicit affairs, and epiphany. She pays homage to her country roots as she gives us the last great american dynastyinvisible string, and betty. This indie-folk alternative record is a breath of fresh air as it accompanies us in quarantine, saving us from anxiety and insanity. Despite the sad undertones of the tracks, sweet little nothings lie behind lines waiting to be discovered. After listening to this album, it left me feeling pensive and melancholic. With no promo, no lead single, and zero pre-hype, folklore still managed to take the world by storm and I don't think anyone else but Taylor could do that. folklore didn't hide behind instrumentals. Taylor's raw vocals still withstood my expectations. The album has a dozen layers waiting to be nitpicked and while I've only listened to it a couple times, I've come to understand that folklore is not just simply an album. It's art - in the very sense of the word. It can mean a million different things to every person. And the lyrics - oh my gosh - the lyrics speak volumes and can be interpreted in so many different ways. One moment a song can make me feel bliss and then the next time, it can make me feel like my heart is breaking into a million little pieces. Nostalgia is also a rampant emotion I felt as I listened through the tracks.

Being a fan of Taylor Swift is an adventure, one that I will never tire of because this girl's mind is a kaleidoscope of undiscovered colors I'd love to learn more and revel in. And I couldn't agree more with Richel from as she said, "I think anything she puts out at this point, I will love." Taylor won't have to worry about losing fans because as long as I'm alive, she is always going to have one. xx



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